Sunday, August 19, 2007

Laura Howell
or how to get from a post on the Beano to Gilbert & Sullivan in nearly 2 hours.

A perfect example of how blogging posts can take on a life of their own:

A little while ago, I put up a post picking up a Kaiser Chiefs / Little Plum page by Hunt Emerson from Steve Flanagan. This was followed by a comment from Joe reminding me about an FPI post about Hunt & The Beano. So I put up a quick update to the first post from me.

But both guilt and curiosity had been piqued by then. After that cue lots of linking around the Internet to discover the work of the fabulously talented Laura Howell; the writer and inker of Hunt's Ratz strip in the Beano, but primarily a very accomplished cartoonist in her own right.

So far I've wasted a good hour and a bit just having loads of fun meandering around her site.
The obvious highlight has to be The Bizarre Adventures of Gilbert & Sullivan (2002-2003). It seems Laura has been doing this for years (strips collected here) before deciding to reformat a single A4 strip into 6 pages, making it a genuine manga strip and entering it for the International Manga & Anime Festival 2006.
Of course, knowing a great Victorian Manga Comedy when they saw it the judges awarded her 1st prize in the print cartoon comic category straight away. Hurrah.

Above: Page 1 of the Bizarre Adventures of Gilbert & Sullivan strip that won the IMAF 2005 award. Story & Art by Laura Howell

Another fantastically funny strip is Hell on Toast, which Laura describes as:
"A project I seem to have been working on forever, with many different incarnations. The core of it is a story about a boy with sixth sense, Satan's offspring and a bunch of demons. It's not nearly as serious as it sounds."
Sadly there's only a taste of what looks like a very, very funny strip on her website. It would be really nice to be able to see some more.

Above: "If you’re going to mess with eldritch forces, it helps to have a working knowledge of geometry." Hell on Toast illustration. Text and art by Laura Howell.

So off you all go, have a look yourselves. And don't forget to say hi and stop by the shop as well.

1 comment:

  1. That's the nice thing about the web - an interesting post will normally lead you on to something else and yet more links.It's like reading a well-written novel and noticing some detail of history or culture in the description and then going on to look it up in a factual book and finding more you didn't know, prompting you to follow more ideas... Difference being online it is a click away. Which is a good reason to always make sure you include relevant links in a post - bit like good academic practise in essay writing, always cite sources and bibliography. And you're right, Laura's site is great - the only drawback to so many links to interesting sites is finding time to pay attention to them properly.